Publications by Caroline Donovan

IAN is committed to producing practical, user-centered communications that foster a better understanding of science and enable readers to pursue new opportunities in research, education, and environmental problem-solving. Our publications synthesize scientific findings using effective science communication techniques.

People and Oceans: Managing marine areas for human well-being (Page 1)

People and Oceans: Managing marine areas for human well-being

Samonte G, Bunce Karrer L, Orbach M
13 September 2010

Although much research has been done on the ecological benefits and challenges of marine resource management, comparatively little insight has been gained into the benefits and challenges of the human well-being aspects. This document addresses this gap by building on existing knowledge and synthesizing over 20 social science studies conducted over the past five years in 19 countries, involving over 35 scientists, and drawing on experiences in 52 marine managed areas (MMAs) worldwide.

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Maryland Coastal Bays Report Card 2009 (Page 1)

Maryland Coastal Bays Report Card 2009

Caroline Donovan, Heath Kelsey, Sara Powell, Melissa Andreychek ·
30 June 2010

The aim of this report card is to provide a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of 2009 Coastal Bays health. Coastal Bays health is defined as the progressof four water quality indicators (TN, TP, Chl a, DO) and two biotic indicators (seagrass, hard clams) toward scientifically derived ecological thresholds or goals. The six indicators are combined into one overarching Coastal Bays Health Index, which is presented as the report card score.

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Chesapeake Bay Report Card 2009 (Page 1)

Chesapeake Bay Report Card 2009

Caroline Donovan, Heath Kelsey, Sara Powell ·
18 May 2010

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of 2009 Chesapeake Bay habitat health. The overall health of Chesapeake Bay, assessed using water quality and biotic indicators, was the best it has been since 2002. The overall grade improved from C- in 2008 to C in 2009. Eight reporting regions had improved grades in 2009, four were unchanged, and two had slightly worse grades.

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Integrating and Applying Science: A handbook for effective coastal  ecosystem assessment (Page 1)

Integrating and Applying Science: A handbook for effective coastal ecosystem assessment

Longstaff BJ, Carruthers TJB, Dennison WC, Lookingbill TR, Hawkey JM, Thomas JE, Wicks EC, Woerner J ·
10 May 2010

Vast areas of the globe's coastal zone have experienced significant declines in ecosystem health. Deteriorating water quality, loss and alteration of vital habitats, and reduced populations of fish and shellfish are some of the major changes recorded. Establishing and running an effective assessment program is a complex process that necessitates strategic collaboration and partnerships between many individuals and agencies.

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A Guide to the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Report Cards (Page 1)

A Guide to the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Report Cards

Heath Kelsey, Emily Nauman, Sara Powell, Christine Thurber, Caroline Donovan ·
29 April 2010

A variety of organizations, both government and citizen-led, monitor the health of streams, rivers, and other waterbodies in the mid-Atlantic region. Recently, a number of groups concerned with the health of watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay region have begun to produce ecosystem health report cards much like EcoCheck’s annual Chesapeake Bay report card.

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Chapter 1: Environmental campaigns: achieving a shared vision using research, monitoring, and management

Dennison WC and Wicks EC ·

A coastal assessment program cannot simply draw from a few individuals; it takes contributions from an entire community and the creation of a shared vision. Keeping a balance among research, monitoring, and management is especially important and includes the dynamics of human interactions and strong communication between stakeholders and the broader community.

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Chapter 5: Ecological indicators: assessing ecosystem health using metrics

Wicks EC, Longstaff BJ, Fertig BM, and Dennison WC ·

Chapter 4 discussed how selecting an appropriate communication product can affect an audience and persuade opinions. This chapter discusses how using another tool, an indicator (Figure 5.1), not only can persuade opinions, but also can be used to evaluate the health of an ecosystem.

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Chapter 6: Ecological report cards: integrating indicators into report cards

Williams MR, Longstaff BJ, Wicks EC, Carruthers TJB, and Florkowski LN ·

This chapter continues the discussion of ecological indicators but with the specific application of producing ecological report cards. It explains the reasons for producing report cards, the steps to produce indicators based on ecological thresholds, and the process of combining indicators into overarching indices. Ecological report cards, like the indicators that they are based on, are one of the most important products for directing data collection and analysis.

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Chapter 7: Ecological forecasts: building a predictive capacity to guide management

Jasinski DA, Longstaff BJ, and Wicks EC ·

This chapter provides an overview of the process of developing, producing, and releasing an ecological forecast, which is supported by statistical analysis and models that underpin forecasts (see Chapters 8 and 9). Areas discussed in this chapter include why you may consider conducting ecological forecasting, some of the essential elements of a forecasting program, and some of the challenges you may face.

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